Sensitive boys baring their souls over homemade beats are no big wows these days. But Teen Daze has a refreshingly different take on bedroom electronica. Instead of morosely pulling down the blinds, the Vancouver-based laptop-lover is peeking out into the sunshine with a big grin on his bespectacled face and pulling us in by the ears to join the party.
All Of Us, Together is Jamison’s debut proper, after a two year flurry of EPs, singles, collaborations, covers and remixes all oozing potential. And it’s the kind of gorgeous, career-making record that reduces critics to salivating twats, parping on mid-dribble about shimmering soundscapes and pulsing beats. But really, these nine tracks are just so smartly made that you’d be a fool not to get excited about them.
‘Treten’ is a crisp and sprightly opener, ‘Cold Sand’ sparkles alluringly and ‘Late’’s scattered glacial synths prove an early highlight, but it’s not until about halfway in that we hit the run of solid sonic gold Teen Daze is now capable of. He shuns introspection, throws his specs in the air (possibly) and moves into “thinking clubber” mode. ‘For Body And Kenzie’ starts all warm and fuzzy but soon develops into a slinky, delicately constructed delight, ‘The New Balearic’ with its cut up buzzing keys and acoustic guitar is playfully romantic and ‘Brooklyn Sunburn’ is blissful, breezy and glitch-filled.
‘Erbstück’ is the album’s must-listen moment though; with its exploding spiralling synths, juddering electronics and relentless rhythmic doof-doof, it’s the kind of gloriously intense and heavy club music we sadly don’t hear enough of on dancefloors, and it melts seamlessly into the equally thrilling celestial soaring of ‘The Future’; its steel drum breaks and hazy vocals skipping, tripping and tumbling like new-born puppies towards a sublime finish.
And while there’s an undeniable melancholy at the heart of All Of Us, Together, peeping out from poignant melodies that pluck at your heartstrings, it’s imbued with a genuine, cynic-puncturing joy that makes for a rare pairing in the current electronic climate, and that in turn gives the music a compelling momentum. Said to be inspired by the collective experience of performing these tracks to people on tour last year and a dusty encyclopaedic volume of utopian visions that Jamison chanced upon in a vintage shop, the talented twenty-something known as Teen Daze manages to resurrect the ghosts of dance legends past with nods to house, funk, nu jazz and early Gonzales, St Germain, ‘80s pop and Four Tet, and ultimately forge his own path forwards; balancing the euphoric and the profound pretty perfectly.